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Behind the Scenes, New Releases

MPublishing has hosted the online version of Feminist Studies since 2009. This journal publishes research and criticism that address theoretical issues and offer analyses of interest to feminist scholars across disciplines. It features theoretically sophisticated essays that make an original contribution and advance interdisciplinary scholarship regarding women and/or gender.

This week, the amount of Feminist Studies content that we make available online increased dramatically: we just released thirty years worth of back content (1972-2002), or 1,117 previously unavailable articles, so it is now possible to search, browse, and read across the entire run of this important publication.

In new issues of Feminist Studies, structured, reflowable electronic text and images are rendered together in a web browser

Users will notice a difference between the appearance of the back issues (1972-2002) and the more recent ones (2003-present). Each time a new issue of the journal comes out, the editors deliver the electronic source files (in this case, Quark) to MPublishing’s Digital Publishing Production unit. We extract the text, images, structure and formatting from these born-digital files, and convert the issue to XML for publication in the DLXS infrastructure. This content is then rendered as HTML in your web browser, so more recent issues look and behave like web pages, with structured reflowable text.

Screen grab from FS 6.2

For the backfile, an image of the original typeset page page is displayed. OCR working behind the scenes supports full-text searching.

Our approach for the back issues was, by necessity, different. Because Feminist Studies didn’t have digital files on hand for these older issues, we had to start with print copies. Each volume of the journal was disbound and scanned by a vendor. Then, these page images were run through Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to capture the text electronically. The OCR makes these back issues full-text searchable, just as the newer issues are. But, because we have only captured the text, and not its formatting or structure, we don’t attempt to render this this text on-screen. Instead, we display an image of the typeset page.

Even though the back issues and more recent issues look different from each other, searching and browsing works the same across the whole run of the journal.

Feminist Studies online is fully available to subscribers only, though anyone may search the journal and purchase individual articles for download.

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